Friday, July 15, 2011

Zucchini time!!!

Ahh, time for zucchini.  This is one of my favorite versatile veggies.  We can grow it in abundance here in Indiana, so I am lucky that my aunt and uncle have a HUGE garden and let me have all I want!  I got a couple of really big ones today and shredded them in my food processor to make zucchini bread.  Then I got to thinking, "That would be a LOT of bread.  So what else can I do with this?"
So here is my list of ideas, some of them I have a recipe link or two to go with them.

1. The simple way- slice, then saute with olive oil, or be lazy and nuke in the micorowave.

2.  Zucchini "pasta":  Get out your veggie peeler and peel it into a bunch of strips.  Salt them down and let them sit for a while, then briefly saute with olive oil and halved cherry tomatoes.  Then top with freshly grated parmesan.  One of my most favorite summer dishes!!! I think this is the original recipe I used was from Rachael Ray, but it is no longer on the website.  You could also add in some high-quality bacon to give a flavorful (but fatty) boost.

3. Add sheredded zucchini to: soups, pastas, quiches, frittatas, omelets, meatloaf, meatballs, turkey burgers, or hide in your kids mac n cheese!

4.  Zucchini cake/cupcakes- Bake your favorite zucchini bread recipe then top with cream cheese icing, yummy!!!  Or use a recipe like this one:

5. Zucchini lasagna- replace your noodles with large slices of zucchini- I would salt them and set aside for a few minutes to get some water out of it, then brown both sides with oil in a pan first to boost flavor.  I've also done this with eggplant.  Here is a recipe if you are a recipe kinda person!

6.  Zucchini baby food- When LJ was a little baby, she loved some smashed up zucchini with a little parmesan cheese.  You can freeze the extras in ice cube trays so you have perfect portions for your little one.

7.  Zucchini boats- cut a v-shaped slit down the length of an entire zucchini, then use a spoon to take out some of the middle.  Stuff with whatever- meat mixture, cheeses, etc. then wrap in foil and bake!  Yummy!  I do have an idea about zucchini cups, but I think it might get messy.  But if you have a big one, you could cut it into several cylindars and scoop out a cup to fill...I just don't know if the bottom of it would get to watery with no skin there.  Looks like I might be trying this tonight!

8.  Zucchini-kebabs.  Self-explanatory.  Although I would suggest adding other veggies as well, duh.

9.  Zucchini pancakes!!!!  I am making these on Sunday for my family.  Just make your regular old pancake recipe, leave out about 1/8 cup of the milk (the zucchini is a bit watery) then toss in some zucchini and some cinnamon.  Nutritious (before all the butter and syrup) and delicious!

10.  Zucchini latkes- shred some potato, some zucchini, and some onion.  Mix together with some flour and egg and a pinch or two of salt.  Form into tiny latkes and thow 'em in the frying pan with a little olive oil.  Brown them on both sides and serve with some creme fraiche or sour cream!  This would be great at a brunch.

Hopefully I have helped you with some good zucchini ideas!  Get cookin' and send me your good ideas, I would love some more!  Now off to my giant shredded-zucchini filled Ikea zip top baggie...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Embellished Tank Tops are Here!

Okay, Kristin and I worked our tank top magic last night...or something like that.  Basically, we dumped out my scrap fabric bin, extra beads bin, etc. and waited for inspiration.  I think what we have so far is a great start towards gifts for my Great Christmas Challenge!!!  So take a look and start wondering if one of these is for you...
Oh, and sorry about the crappy photos.  I seem to have misplaced our really expensive camera, much to my husband's I had to use my Blackberry.  But at least you get the idea of what we did, right?

Okay, for this navy blue tank top I grabbed some grayish-blue striped fabric and cut out  9 circles, maybe about 3" in diameter.  Then I folded them in half twice and played around with the layout until I liked how it looked.  I hand sewed the tip top corner onto the shirt carefully so it looked pretty.  Then I added a row of bluish-green beads to the top (larger size of seed beads).  I thought this made it look a bit more finished.

Here is the lovely Kristin modeling her project for the night.  We took some tan-ish floral fabric and made a big long strip.  It was then ruffled the "easy" way on the sewing machine (amp up your thread tension, and hold the thread on the spool while you sew, voila, ruffles!)  After evening out the ruffles by hand and pinning them on, Kristin used a zigzag stitch to attach it all the way around the neckline- we wanted the back to be pretty too!  Then we made a cute flower in off-white to attach as a finishing touch.  The best part?  It's fast and no-sew!  Here is a good tutorial for that from a great blog called "Ruffles and Stuff".  Love her!

I think this last one might be the most "me" of the three we've made so far.  I made four of the above referenced flowers in a beautiful deep orange color.  I made them slightly graduated in size, then attached them in a cluster down the strap.  I think I might make one more smaller one so there is 5.  I have this weird thing where I don't really like even numbers...should I tell my therapist?  Anyways, my daughter woke up from her nap so that's how it ended up with just 4 for the moment.

Sorry again for the awful photography, I promise to hunt and find my camera for next time!  Please help me get more followers- tell any of your friends to officialy follow me and once we get to 25 I will create something as a giveaway and do a drawing!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

embellished tanks

My friend Kristin and I are gearing up for a girls crafty night- we will be embellishing some tank tops that I got a couple weeks ago for $2 each at Old Navy!  This is part of my Great Christmas Challenge, because if they turn out nice enough they will make great Christmas gifts.  I got some toned down, colder weather colors.  I figured they will look cute under a cardigan or blazer during the colder months!
I am currently gathering up some fun supplies to use...bits of tulle, beads, scrap fabric, lace, etc.  Tune in later this week to see how they turned out...and buy a couple of cheap tank tops yourself to see what you come up with!  There are no "wrong" ways to do it!